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When should the decision be made?

The assumption is that all SBCSC students will work toward mastery of state standards and receive a high school diploma. However, some students require extensive, repeated, individualized instruction and substantial support that is not of a temporary or transient nature to achieve measurable gains in grade and age-appropriate curriculum.  These students may requires substantially adapted materials and individualized methods of accessing information in alternative ways to acquire, maintain, generalize and demonstrate and transfer skills across multiple settings.

If curriculum modifications are needed over an extensive period of time and become a necessary support for the student's success, it may be apporpriate for the case conference to consider placing the student on a certificate track.

The recommendation of the school as to whether the student will be working towards a diploma or a certificate must be well documented. This is not a decision that should be taken lightly, and will have life long effects. It can be a very emotional discussion with parents, and should be handled with tact and compassion.

At age 14 (typically eighth grade), or earlier if determined by the case conference committee, a decision shall be made at the annual case conference as to whether the student will earn credits toward a high school diploma or work toward a Certificate of Completion.

Students on a diploma track are expected to follow state requirements and participate in all general education grade level curriculum with approved accommodations.  Students in grades 3-8 will take ISTEP+. High School students are required to take End of Course Assessments (ECA) at least once a year until English 10 and Algebra are passed. Students who are placed on a Certificate Track will be assessed with the Indiana Alternate Assessment.

It is helpful to have an actual high school textbook for parents and students to understand the challenging level of the work required in diploma track courses. The following grade level samples may be downloaded to demonstrate the workload for typical diploma track students.

Testing-ISTEP or Alternate Assessment?

Criteria for Determining Participation in Alternative Assessment

The case conference committee (CCC) determines, based on the criteria provided and the student's individual and unique needs, whether a student with a disability will be assessed on academic achievement standards, on modified academic achievement standards or on alternate academic achievement standards.

There are 3 designations/ categories for the decision to place a student in the alternative assessment:

Modified Academic Achievement Standards
Academic Competence
Independent Functioning
Criteria Modified Academic Achievement Standards Academic Competence Independent Functioning
Presence of a Disability

The student receives special education services due to the presence of a disability. There must be evidence that the disability has prevented the student from achieving proficiency as measured by previous ISTEP+ attempts or through other assessments that validly document grade-level academic achievement.

There is empirical evidence of a significant cognitive disability that precludes the acquisition of achievement standards necessary to obtain a high school diploma. However, there is evidence that the student could achieve academic competence at a basic level.

There is empirical evidence of a severe disability that precludes the acquisition of Indiana Academic Standards and a high school diploma.

Intensity of Instruction

The student is able to meaningfully access curriculum for the grade in which the student is enrolled. However, the student's case conference committee agrees that, even with appropriate instruction and services designed to meet the students' individual needs, the student is not likely to achieve grade-level proficiency within the same time frame as other students.

Even when provided access to a differentiated general education curriculum, the student is unable to derive reasonable educational benefit without significant individualized modifications to content and performance expectations.

Even with extensive, intensive, pervasive, frequent, and individualized instruction in all settings, the student is unable to acquire, maintain, generalize, and apply academic skills across environments.

Curricular Outcomes

The student is expected to earn a high school diploma prior to exiting high school, either by eventually demonstrating proficiency on the GQE or through the appeals process. Therefore the goals listed in the student's case conference committee report include content standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled.

The goals and objectives listed in this student's IEP focus on progress on academic skills that are prerequisites to the grade in which the student is enrolled. The student aspires to obtain skills necessary for entry level employment.

The goals and objectives listed in this student's IEP focus on progress within functional achievement indicators and extensions to the Indiana Academic Standards. The student strives to achieve the most basic self-help and communication skills and is seeking opportunities throughout the day to accomplish very individual goals.

Exclusions

The CCC's determination that the student will be assessed on modified achievement standards cannot be based on factors such as:

  • Excessive or extensive absences.
  • Social, cultural or economic differences.
  • The mere identification of a disability.
  • A specific special education placement or service.
  • Concern for AYP calculations.

The Indiana Department of Education will utilize these criteria when reviewing or monitoring student education records for the purpose of determining eligibility to be assessed on modified achievement standards and including modified assessment data in federal and state accountability determinations.

The CCC's determination that the student will be assessed on alternate achievement standards cannot be based on factors such as:

  • Excessive or extensive absences.
  • Social, cultural or economic differences.
  • The mere existence of an IEP or identification in a specific disability category.
  • A specific special education placement or services.
  • Emotional, behavioral or physical challenges.
  • Anticipated scores on ISTEP+.
  • Concern for AYP calculations.

The Indiana Department of Education will utilize these criteria when reviewing or monitoring student education records for the purpose of determining eligibility to be assessed on alternate achievement standards and including alternate assessment data in federal and state accountability determinations.

The CCC's determination that the student will be assessed on alternate achievement standards cannot be based on factors such as:

  • Excessive or extensive absences.
  • Social, cultural or economic differences.
  • The mere existence of an IEP or identification in a specific disability category.
  • A specific special education placement or services.
  • Emotional, behavioral or physical challenges.
  • Anticipated scores on ISTEP+.
  • Concern for AYP calculations.

The Indiana Department of Education will utilize these criteria when reviewing or monitoring student education records for the purpose of determining eligibility to be assessed on alternate achievement standards and including alternate assessment data in federal and state accountability determinations.

Determining High School Course of Study

Students working toward a general education diploma need to follow all state requirements and take all required courses.  Students need to take and pass the End of Course Assessments (ECA) for English 10 and Algebra. They must also take an End of Course Assessment for Biology.

In order to complete high school in a 4-year period, a student must earn an average of ten (10) credits during each school year in the appropriate courses. Specific requirements for earning a high school diploma are included in the Course Description Book.  Assist parents and students in making realistic, achievable goals. High school special education diploma track courses DO NOT count towards a CORE 40 Diploma.

Certificate of Completion

A Certificate of Completion is an option for all special education students.  Students who are working toward a Certificate of Completion participate in graduation ceremonies with their general education peers.  No distinction is made between a diploma and certificate at the ceremonies.

Four years of course work has been developed within the special education department for students to achieve this certificate.  Courses focus on those skills needed for independent living.

Vocational programs are available for students beginning in their freshman year.  Students participate in a variety of job shadowing/training experiences while building a resume of employable job skills.

Students working towards a certificate of completion do not take the GQE or end of the course assessments, but will be assessed on  ISTAR by their teacher of record. 

Students who have not earned a regular high school diploma may continue their education in the Young Adult Services (YAS) Program or other adult education programs through the school year in which the student turns age twenty-two (22)

PROPOSED CERTIFICATE 4 YEAR COURSE PLAN

  1st Semester 2nd Semester
9th Grade
  1. English/Reading/Writing
  2. Math 1
  3. Health
  4. Interpersonal Skills (Self-Awareness)                       
  5. Career Awareness/Career Exploration
  6. Elective
  1. English/Reading/Writing
  2. Math 2
  3. Health
  4. Interpersonal Skills (Self-Confidence)
  5. Career Awareness/Career Exploration
  6. Elective
10th Grade
  1. English/Reading/Writing
  2. Math 3
  3. Parenting/Child Development
  4. Interpersonal Skills (Driver Education)
  5. Career Planning/Training 1
  6. Elective
  1. English/Reading/Writing
  2. Math 4
  3. Parenting/Child Development
  4. Interpersonal Skills (Personal Growth)
  5. Career Planning/Training 2
  6. Elective
11th Grade
  1. English/Reading/Writing
  2. Math 5
  3. US History/Government
  4. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
  5. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
  6. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
  1. English/Reading/Writing
  2. Math 6
  3. US History/Government
  4. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
  5. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
  6. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
12th Grade
  1. English/Reading/Writing
  2. Math 7
  3. Current Problems/Street Law
  4. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
  5. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
  6. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
  1. English/Reading/Writing
  2. Math 8
  3. Current Problems/Street Law
  4. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
  5. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
  6. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
Elective Consideration:

ROTC is a good elective for students. PE is NOT a good elective for students with more challenging behaviors or those who do not function well in unstructured settings.

Remember: Any courses may be taken on a pass/fail basis for students who are not working towards a diploma.

Students not working towards a diploma do not participate in ISTEP or end of the course assessments but will be assessed on ISTAR. Goals and objectives must be functional.

Go to Transition IEP

Determining the Course of Study

Certificate of Completion

Graduation Requirements

Special education students who are not working toward a high school diploma may receive a Certificate of Completion upon graduation from high school (IC 20-35-4-11). The intent of the Certificate of Completion is to award a document to a special education student who completes the public education program as prescribed in their IEP.

Students are awarded this Certificate as a part of the high school graduation ceremony.  No distinction is made between students receiving a diploma versus those receiving a certificate.  Students may fully participate in graduation activities. 

South Bend Community School Corporation does not have specific established academic criteria for students to receive a Certificate of Completion. Each special education student's Certificate of Completion graduation requirements must be prescribed in his/her IEP.

Students working toward a Certificate of Completion should demonstrate:

A student who has been working towards a diploma for four years cannot be changed to certificate at the end of the last year of high school to allow the student to participate in graduation ceremonies.

These requirements and expectations must be made clear to the student and their parents at each annual case conference. Parent, guardian or student (if 18) will sign an agreement that Terry and Christi will develop.

Goals and objectives are documented in the Quarterly/Trimester Progress Reports. To this end, it is recommended that each student working toward a Certificate of Completion have specific graduation requirements in their IEP beginning in their freshman year and continuing through their senior year

Students changing from a diploma to certificate track during high school may need to have their credit requirements adjusted to reflect their new status. For example, the decision is made at the 8th grade conference that the student will work towards a diploma but it is later determined by the case conference committee that this is not an appropriate option for the student. The required number of credits may be pro-rated, i.e. a student placed on the certificate track at the end of his freshman year will be required to have 30 credits, etc.

Certificate of Completion "Waiver"

As with students pursuing a diploma, students pursuing a certificate can apply for a "waiver" if they do not meet all the requirements set forth in their IEP.

The "waiver" process necessitates the completion of a Certificate Waiver Request Form submitted to the Teacher of Record (TOR) by the student or the parent specifying which requirement should be "waived" and the justification for the waiver.

The Teacher of Record then consults with a school administrator and makes a recommendation to the case conference committee. The case conference committee then convenes to approve or deny the "waiver" request.

PROPOSED CERTIFICATE COURSE OF STUDY

Four years of course work has been developed within Special Education for students to achieve this certificate.  Courses focus on those skills needed for independent living. IEP goals for students in these classes must be written to address functional/practical skills.

Vocational programs are available for students beginning in their freshman year.  Students participate in a variety of job shadowing/training experiences while building a resume of employable job skills.

Students working towards a certificate of completion do not take the End of Course Assessment (ECA), but will be assessed on the Indiana Alternate Assessment. 

Students who have not earned a regular high school diploma may continue their education in the Young Adult Services (YAS) Program or other adult education programs through the school year in which the student turns age twenty-two (22)

9th Grade

    1. Practical Reading
    2. Practical Math
    3. Health
    4. Practical Geography                  
    5. Career Awareness/Job Shadowing
    6. Elective
    7. Elective

10th Grade

    1. Practical English
    2. Practical Math
    3. Career Preparation/Job Training
    4. Interpersonal Skills
    5. Physical Education
    6. Elective
    7. Elective

11th Grade

    1. Practical English
    2. Practical Math
    3. US History
    4. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
    5. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
    6. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
    7. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective

12th Grade

    1. Practical English
    2. Independent Living Skills
    3. Government/Street Law
    4. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
    5. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
    6. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective
    7. INTERN/Work Experience/Elective

Students with significant cognitive impairments who participate int he Life Skills program may take the following courses:

Adaptive Home

Economics / Adaptive

Physical Education

Career Awareness/Job Shadowing

Community Based Training

Functional Language Arts

Functional Math

Functional Science

INTERN Program 1-4

Recreation/Leisure Skills

Vocational Activities

Work Experience

 

 

 

 

Vocational Information

Every student who will be participating in any job training experience MUST have vocational goals and objectives as a part of his/her IEP.

If a high school student is going to be enrolled in Career Awareness/Exploration or Career Preparation/Training the Job Shadowing/Training Agreement must be completed, including parent signature, at the Annual Case Conference. The completed form MUST be attached to all copies of the IEP.

Students enrolled in the INTERN program must complete the INTERN Application which includes the Student Training Agreement. Students do not select a job training site but rather select the type of job training experience they are seeking.

The parents must sign the Student Training Agreement. The completed form MUST be attached to all copies of the IEP. Immediately following the case conference, a copy of the full IEP is to be sent to the INTERN Coordinator by email or via school mail.

If a student is seeking work experience credit, the Work Experience Agreement must be completed. It is necessary to have this signed agreement to receive credit and/or release time from school. The completed form MUST be attached to all copies of the IEP.

Students participating in Community-based training as a part of their IEP must have the Permission for Community Training completed at the Annual Case Conference. The completed form MUST be attached to all copies of the IEP. Every student who will be participating in Community-based training MUST have goals and objectives addressing their needs for the Community-based training experience.

Vocational Activities: Descriptions and Examples

Teachers of Record need to document their student’s Job Shadowing, Job Training, INTERN, and Work Experiences. A chronological log of those experiences should be kept in the student’s working folder so that a resume can be developed for each student.

Elective Consideration:

Student interests and strengths should be taken into account when choosing electives. Remember: Any courses may be taken on a pass/fail basis for students who are not working towards a diploma.